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Memes, Whitney Houston, and Sang: At the age of 11, Whitney Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. . She spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her mother Cissy, a gospel singer, was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with her. . In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single Life's a Party. . The following year, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls. . In the early 1980s, Whitney started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. . She was also featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial. . Whitney had previously been offered several recording agencies (Michael Zager in 1980, and Elektra Records in 1981), but her mother declined the offers stating her daughter must first complete high school. . In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records, saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed. He convinced Arista's head Clive Davis to make time to see Whitney perform. . Clive Davis was impressed and immediately offered a worldwide recording contract which Houston signed. Later that year, she made her national televised debut alongside Davis on The Merv Griffin Show. . Her debut album, Whitney Houston (1985), became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history. . She went on to become one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. . She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. . RIP, Whitney Houston. Today marks five years since her passing. . JerseyStandup BlackHistory BlackExcellence excellence

At the age of 11, Whitney Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where...

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